Originally posted by Eladar
Is there something immoral or wrong about being a racist?
Here's a view from 'the other side of the hill', as a tiny minority of experience in this forum.
Many writers here believe--showing by their actions--there's nothing wrong with *being* a racist.
But about all of them fiercely object to *being identified* as a racist.
Personally, I prefer to deal with someone who's honest enough to admit one's racism
rather than with someone who tirelessly keeps lying and denying one's racism.
White people like to recite a script to one another of "I am not a racist, and you are not too."
How often have I heard diverse non-white people, frustrated beyond their endurance by
everyday racism, exclaim at last: "Now I just give up on white people!" or, less radically,
"I need a break from white people!" ?
I can completely understand how they feel. How much more comfortable to be away
from white people, to no longer be bombarded by most white people's ceaseless
microaggressions, if not also by their more overt or malicious racism!
I knew an American university student (a good student) who, though born in the USA,
spoke English well with a British accent. (His parents had immigrated from a British colony.)
He had grown up largely in a black community. He told me that he welcomed friendships
from diverse non-white people, but, after many years of trying and being disappointed,
he had given up on finding any real understanding even from 'liberal' white Americans.
He had given up on white people. He was very bitter about his experiences of racism.
While he's a US citizen by birth, after graduating from an American university, he said
that he wished to emigrate to Asia, where he hoped to avoid contact with white people.
He had no need of white people to make him happier in his life. I wished him well.
On a less radical note, I used to hang out around several black American women,
notwithstanding some cultural differences between us. It rather surprised me, if not
them too, how our friendship developed. After some months, I was invited to join their
African American activist group, even though I don't quite look like most of the members.
These black American women had accepted me, however, as someone (a non-American)
who understood enough of their experiences and who sympathized with their struggles.
I considered it an honour. I ignored the stares of some people when I sat with my friends.
We talked of creating a 'safe space' where we could feel free to be truly ourselves and
not have to keep wearing the masks that we presented to the dominant white culture.
We yearned to feel comfortable in sharing our varied experiences of racism without
having to worry about a overly defensive white person interrupting us and objecting.
I said that some white women were very close to my heart. These white women had
loved me, treated me almost as of their own flesh and blood, and I loved them too.
Yet I could understand why many women of colour believe that they need a safe space,
away from all white women, even those (not most of them) who are sincerely anti-racist.
We would be ready to embrace many white women as our sisters, but not everywhere.
"Black feminism is a school of thought stating that sexism, class oppression, gender identity and racism
are inextricably bound together. The way these concepts relate to each other is called intersectionality."
I support feminism only within the structure of intersectionality.
In contrast, White Feminism denies intersectionality.
"White feminism is a form of feminism that focus on the struggles of well-off white women while failing to
address the distinct forms of oppression faced by women of colour and women lacking other privileges."
To White Feminists (who apparently enjoy the support of racist white men here too),
I would remind them of what Desmond Tutu said in opposing apartheid in South Africa:
"We don't want our chains made more comfortable. We want them removed."
White Feminism promises to make non-white women's chains softer and more comfortable.
White Feminists may promise to be kinder masters than sexist white men over non-white women
But diverse women of colour have a right to expect much more, and we will fight hard for it.